Password is invlaid

I just tried to log in to a site that I have already set up and it forced me to update all of my login information. I submitted an incredibly secure password (courtesy of 1Password) and it spat this message back at me:

Password is invlaid[sic]. Must be between 7 and 15 characters, start with a letter, contain at least one number, and cannot match your UserID, nor contain any spaces and special characters.

The funniest part? After I finally satisfied the site and it accepted my new password, it wouldn’t let me log in with the new information. So how did I get back in? With my old information! Then guess what happened? It asked me to update my account information.
Later. Rinse. Repeat.
Moving on now.

Mimic Google's 2-week view in BusyCal

I use BusyCal to access and sync with my Google Calendar. The team at BusyMac have designed a calendar application they refer to as iCal Pro. BusyCal provides many more features and options than Apple’s iCal, but it was lacking one feature I grew to love on Google Calendar–the 2-week view.
If you’re in the same boat, here is a tip to enable a 2-week view in BusyMac that I got straight from “Kirk” on the BusyMac support team.

If you don’t mind tweaking in the Terminal, here is how to get the Googlish 2-week view:

  • Quit BusyCal
  • Launch Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities) 

  • Paste in the following line
    defaults write com.busymac.busycal weeksPerMonth -int 2
  • type return
  • Launch BusyCal
  • select “Scroll by Weeks” from the View menu


Television can get pretty expensive when used in the traditional way the Big Media companies want you to use it. Julie and I are departing from the hegemony to use our television the way we want to use it.
Our Roku HD-XR arrived yesterday. The time from cracking the box open to watching Netflix was about 10 minutes. TiVo and cable are becoming more and more irrelevant. The truth is I’m about to call and cancel TiVo right now, which will save us about $23 a month. After we cancel cable, that’s another $76 a month.
Our one-time $100 investment in Roku is going to save us about $100 a month. That’s something I can get behind.
So here’s what it looks like on our entertainment center:


I set the lens cap beside the Roku box to give you a sense of scale. This thing is tiny to do as much as it does.
We’re planning to offset some of our TV savings by investing in bandwidth. Our Internet service provider, Ringgold Telephone Company, offers fiber in our neighborhood now. Our DSL is sold at 12Mbps. The fiber ratchets up to 50Mbps.
That’s right.
Oh yeah.
We won’t be waiting for those HD movies to buffer for very long at all with that kind of speed. In fact, I should be making phone calls for cancellations and new installations right now.
Fun times!

Alone, With Words | The New Republic

An interesting look at some reasons writers choose to publish their work and why some writers choose not to publish their work:
Alone, With Words | The New Republic:

Writers who publish with small circulation magazines and tiny, non-commercial presses can sometimes achieve an astonishingly powerful presence, because they’ve acquired their readers gradually, incrementally, one by one. And the writer who begins with the big blastoff by the major New York publishing house can all too easily vanish. Nothing is for sure. The writer who holds back too much may well be a hopeless neurotic. But if there are risks involved in resisting the public, there are also dangers involved in running after the public. Nobody talks about those dangers anymore.

A typical day off

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My brain was wired for second shift after too many years reeking of the garlic constantly simmering at the Italian restaurant where I worked. Friends brought me to my first job bussing tables. Soon I was running food and then managed the restaurant’s finances as cashier. When I was old enough to sell booze I graduated to waiter and started making real money.

Late nights

Friends brought me to work there, but the cash held me in thrall for a decade before my family had a need for health insurance. Side effects arose from my move from food service to healthcare; I made less money and second shift became first and turned my world over. My days started beginning at about 5:30 a.m., which was just a little later then than my days used to end.

Early mornings

I finally adjusted to the early mornings and now struggle to sleep past 7 a.m. I used to sleep until noon on my days off work. These days I never sleep past 9 in the morning and I often rise before sunrise and certainly before the rest of my family.
Most mornings you can find me in one of two places. I will either be seated at my desk in the office or relaxing on the couch in the living room with my MacBook comfortably in front of me in either environment. NetNewsWire or a TextMate file is usually what I’m focused on with some aural stimulation courtesy of Radio Paradise.
Julie is usually the next one out of bed. We have breakfast together and watch some TV (usually the latest NCIS or Criminal Minds) to finish waking ourselves before waking the kids. Then we move on to the rest of our day.

Dealing with it

I suppose I say all of that to say this. My clock is wired completely different than it used to be and I can’t sleep late. I was awake until 0100 this morning and still woke up at 0620. I forced myself to stay in bed until 0830 before I finally succumbed to morning and got out of bed.
It would be nice to sleep late sometimes, but I do have more time to get things done if I could just focus and start.

48 Hour Magazine

This is going to be an interesting experiment to watch.
48 Hour Magazine:

We’ll unveil a theme and you’ll have 24 hours to produce and submit your work. We’ll take the next 24 to snip, mash and gild it. The end results will be a shiny website and a beautiful glossy paper magazine, delivered right to your old-fashioned mailbox. We promise it will be insane. Better yet, it might even work.

(Via 48hr Magazine)

How to get that perfect shave – Today, Weekend Edition

One of the best articles I’ve read about wet shaving (Thanks @rands). Julie bought me the Merkur double-edge razor described by the author, though it’s about time for me to invest in some new shave soap.
How to get that perfect shave

How to get that perfect shave
Latest trends and products to avoid those nicks and cuts
By Corey Greenberg
Weekend Today
updated 12:34 p.m. ET, Sun., Jan. 30, 2005
Ever since prehistoric man first scraped a seashell across his cheek so prehistoric woman would let him dance cheek-to-cheek, shaving has been a part of the male experience. But even with today’s high-tech razors, lots of men still  get nicks, cuts, and razor burn. Today’s Tech Editor Corey Greenberg is here with the latest trend in male grooming that promises a better shave by going back to the old school.

(Via Today at

AP says "website" is now correct

Twitter / AP Stylebook: Responding to reader input ...

Finally! This change from “Web site” to “website” should have happened years ago. My problem will be the one Peter Cetera sang about with the band Chicago in the 1980s. It’s a “Hard Habit to Break.”
Poynter Online – Top Stories:

When the AP Stylebook announced via Twitter that it was changing the style for “Web site” to “website,” some users let out shouts of praise: “Finally!” “Yes!!!” “Yeeha!”
The reactions aren’t surprising, given how many people have asked the AP to change the style from two words to one word, arguing that “Web site” is an antiquated way of writing it.

Note: It’s time to update my TextExpander files, which are forcing Web site to “correct” to the former AP style.
(Via Poynter Online)

Work on your best idea

Those guys at 37Signals are consistently brilliant. Here is some motivation for you today.
Work on your best idea:

Turning ambition into success is hard enough as it is. Whether you’re taking time to work on a project on the side or you’re launching a full-time business, it’s going to require peak personal investment. Not in terms of working crazy hours, but of dedication and perseverance.
Why would you want to pour so much of yourself into anything less than your best idea? Other ideas might seem more achievable or convenient, but if your heart and mind is elsewhere it’s all for naught.
Whatever excuse you can come up with for why you’re settling for less is probably not good enough. It’s intensely draining to give up on your dreams and you’ll not look kindly back at yourself for treading water.
Are you working on your best idea right now?

(Via Signal vs. Noise)

How I write

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Besides any sort of paper or notebook*, my Mac is my primary writing tool. The goal of this post is to help me think through my writing process and hopefully share some insight for you.
I own and have used a ton of writing software and often suffer application overload. There are so many terrific options available, sometimes it’s tough for me to figure out which tool is the best for the job at hand. In this article, I am going to focus on the four Mac apps I juggle most often—TextMate, Scrivener, Pages, and MarsEdit.

writing workflow

The diagram above roughly sketches out my workflow, showing how I often begin working in one application and migrate to others depending on what sort of product I’m trying to produce.
Moving on to the software I use…


This text editor is maintained by Allan Odgaard over at Macromates and is my go to wordsmithing tool. TextMate is as powerful as I need it to be whether I am just taking a few notes, building a list or designing an article in MultiMarkdown, working on a LaTeX document, or creating a Web page in HTML.


ScrivenerI’m not sure what to call Scrivener, but I believe Keith Blount of Literature & Latte has created the Ultimate Writing Tool.
Scrivener has one of the finest full-screen modes of any writing application in the market for those of us who are easily distracted by shiny things, but that is one of its minor features. There are plenty of reviews that will go into more detail, so here is a short list of goodies:

  • Unique corkboard layout to organize virtual index cards
  • Built-in outliner
  • Screenplay formatting
  • “Snapshot” versioning system
  • Compile for export or print

Sorry guys, this one is strictly Mac only.


When I need a word processor per se to format a document for printing, I turn to Apple’s elegant Pages because it makes it so easy to design beautiful documents for printing.


MarsEdit iconTextMate used to be my primary tool to write and post my blogs, and I sometimes still do, but now I often turn to MarsEdit for its combination of a text editor with a template-based WYSIWYG preview along with easy access to my photos on Flickr.
Nota bene: Just so you know, this document began as a MultiMarkdown document in TextMate, then exported as HTML and dropped into MarsEdit so I could add the image from Flickr before posting to

* Pen nerds take note: any decent paper or note cards work fine for me, but I really like using my Lamy Safari fountain pen or my Rotring 600 0.7 pencil.